Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Have you claimed your grant funding for business coaching yet?

Have you claimed your grant funding for business coaching yet?

Are you a dental practice or small business in the UK that is looking to strengthen and grow in the next three years?

Are you a great dentist and not such a great business owner that wants to hone your business skills?

 Do you want to increase the number of patients you treat, increase fee generation, profitability and personal income?

Are you looking for a coach specialising in dentistry and small businesses that can help you access government grant funding?

 If you answered yes to any of these questions I can help.

 An exciting new source of government grant funding is available for £3,500 of business coaching that when you access the first level of funding you can then access to up to £20,000 of training grants

The grant is a new, premium service aimed at helping England's brightest growing SME businesses, including dentists, achieve their ambitions with rapid, sustainable growth.  It’s a partnership between private enterprise and government.  The program is extensive and covers all of England.

The programme has been designed to help high growth potential SMEs, including dentists, double in growth within three years.  To achieve this, proven business experts, such as myself have been chosen to work with the practice and business leadership team to identify the barriers to growth, agree a plan for tackling them and work with them to deliver the goals outlined in that plan.

This could include:

  • Developing and delivering a tailored growth strategy
  • Becoming investment ready and securing finance
  • Commercialising innovation effectively
  • Developing leadership and management capability

A typical business development coaching program would include:
Tailored coaching programmes
  • Workshops introducing tools, techniques and practical exercises to help build strategy, leadership, sales and marketing, customer value delivery, high growth teams and change management
  • Access to matched funding for training up to the value of £2,000 per senior manager
  • Inclusion in a High-Growth Alumni Network

As well as coaching, the programme provides comprehensive support by fast tracking clients to trusted providers of business advice to help them achieve their ambitions.  For example, UK Trade & Investment, incubators or professional advisers as well as relevant networks such as Angel Investors.  It will also connect them with other like-minded businesses on the programme through masterclasses and an alumni community.

For an SME or dental practice to be considered eligible for grant funding, the company needs to be:

  • Registered in England
  • Have less than 250 employees
  • Generate less than £40m in turnover per year
  • Be able to demonstrate readiness for growth
  • Ltd, LLP, CIC or a registered charity

Pricing for the program:

  • Micro and start-up businesses (up to 4 employees)           £600 + £700 VAT* = £1,300
  • Small businesses (5 to 49 employees)                             £1,500 + £700 VAT* = £2,200
  • Medium sized companies (50 to 249 employees)             £3,000 + £700 VAT* = £3,700

* VAT is chargeable on the full value of the service at £3,500

 If you would like to learn more about how you can access this grant funding and grow your practice or business, e mail me on or telephone me on 07989 757 884 today.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

I am excited are you?

I have just finished writing the content for my free tele-seminar - 4 steps to a perfect team.
I am so excited, because I have filled it jam packed with amazing free tips, advice and solutions that when you follow the 4 steps to a perfect team, that is exactly what you will have.
If you are looking to and end of
  • Staff that don't listen
  • Staff that don't follow instructions
  • Staff that can't be bothered
  • Staff that fight amongst themselves
  • Staff that are never satisfied
  • Staff that steal your time, your energy or even your stock or money
and are ready to welcome 
  • A team that works hard
  • A team that supports one another
  • A team that listens and follws instructions
  • A team that can think for itself and act on initiative
  • A team that you can rely on
  • A team that you are proud of
this seminar will show you how

to register visit

Friday, 22 March 2013

4 steps to a perfect team

  • Do you often feel frustrated by your staff?
  • Are you plagued by absence and illness?
  • Have you problems getting staff to follow simple instructions?
  • Are you irritated that team members can’t think for themselves or see what needs to be done?
  • Are you fed up with recruiting the ‘wrong’ person?
  • Do you fear being sued or taken to an employment tribunal by a team member?
  • Are you tired of dealing with internal staff conflicts?
  • Do you just want a dream team of staff that you can rely upon to do their jobs well?
If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions
4 steps to a perfect team is for you.
to register visit
Looking forward to you joining me and the other successful practice owners on the call.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

10 most common mistakes made when giving feedback

Are you good at giving feedback and constructive criticism?

For many dentists and practice managers it is the area of staff management they dislike most.

Here are the most common mistakes people make when giving feedback, how many do you make?

  1. Inappropriately timed
  2. Judgemental rather than descriptive
  3. General rather than specific
  4. Directed at an identity rather than a behaviour.
  5. Unsolicited
  6. Not making understanding checks
  7. Delivered in public
  8. Information overload
  9. Wrong presupposition.
  10. Does not include any praise

What are you going to take away and implement differently in your feedback sessions with staff?

 Let me know how you get on and if you would like to know more or would like some help implementing staff reviews please call me on 07989 757 884 or e mail

Monday, 18 March 2013

What type of frog are you?

How do you boil a frog?

There are two options

A.          Drop it in boiling water

B.          Put it in cold water and turn the heat up

If you drop a frog in boiling water, it will jump out immediately and survive, so that doesn’t work.

 However, if you put a frog in cold water and gently turn the heat up the frog, being cold blooded would become acclimatised to its surroundings and as the temperature rises so does its blood temperature and before long it would be boiled alive.

As I visit dental practices and meet dentists all over the UK and Europe I am struck by how like the principals are to either frogs in hot water or a frog in a pan of cold water that is gently heated.

The principals that are like frogs in boiling water are rapid responders, they pay attention to their environment, the economic climate, the wants and need of their patients, legislative changes, their staff and make rapid and decisive decisions and take action. This type of principal will be courageous forward thinking, bucks trends, spend time learning from trainers and coaches, decisive and successful and they invariably seek professional counsel from coaches, trainers, accountants tax advisors and other consultants.

The principals who are like frogs in cold water that is gently heated are slow responders, they adapt to their changing environment and make the best of a bad job. This type of principal puts up with a lot of stress and strain because they don’t want to upset anyone, they are unlikely to know what their options are because the seldom attend training programmes, obtaining their information from hearsay and gossip, decisions are slow to be made and influence strongly by other people’s expectations, and action is taken even more slowly. the consequence is that they and their practice experience a slow and painful death, increase financial problems, fewer and fewer patients, lower quality staff, decline of and increasingly old fashioned clinical skills. It is not uncommon for this type of principal not see the warning signs until it is too late, bank loans being recalled, mass walk out of staff, completely empty books, complaints and maybe a GDC hearing etc. This type of principal will never seek professional counsel only do mandatory CPD, because they believe they know best and have no concept of all that they don’t know. In short their ignorance will kill them.

 What type of frog are you?

 If you have noticed that you are in hot water and want to get out before you boil alive, call me on 07989 757 884 or e mail to discuss how I can help you.

I used my throat to breat an arrow :-0

dazed and jublilant  me and some of my friends who had just each broken a 30lb arrow by putting the point againt our throat and stepping into it.

What amazing things did you do this weekend?

Thursday, 14 March 2013

5 steps to financial freedom

  • Do you often feel short of money and worry about paying your bills?
  • Are you fearful about your financial future?
  • Have you noticed your debt levels increasing?
  • Have you reached capacity and can’t see how the practice can generate any more money?
  • Are you troubled by regulations that will involve large financial outlays to implement?
  • Would you like to have the security of a large financial cushion?
  • Do you want enough money to do what you want, when you want with who you want?

If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions

5 Steps to financial freedom  is the perfect tele-seminar for you
The slides from last nights tele-seminar are now available on slide share view them  free at this link.
Click now
Like what you see and want to know more call us on 07989 757 884 or e mail
the slides from last nights teleseminar are now available on slide share

Beware the knowing - doing gap


I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine, Michelle, who was really worried about the increasing number of white spaces are appearing in her appointment book. Michelle went on to tell me that she had also noticed her patients were returning infrequently or examinations, patients were deferring more non-urgent treatment and her new patients enquiries and visits were also down. Michelle asked me what I would suggest that she does to make sure her appointment book is full that she could generate sufficient revenue to pay all her bills on time.

I shared with Michelle strategies from my ‘4 R’s to filling your appointment book’ module. To which Michelle replied “Yes, yes, yes, I know that, what next?.” So I asked her “You know all this, and what are you actually doing? And Michelle's response “Nothing” Is it any wonder her books were getting empty?

I worked with Michelle creating a step-by-step reproducible system that was implemented on a consistent basis I her team. Very quickly books are full again so was her till. In fact one strategy I shared with Michelle generated £20,000 in eight weeks.


Yesterday I had an initial conversation with a new client who is having some problems with his finances; despite his current pickle, fortunately Mark he seems to have adequate day-to-day funds. Delving deeper, Mark revealed he had a mountain of financial paperwork that was unattended to, his bank statements were un-reconciled, he panicked every time a tax bill was due because he didn't know if you have enough funds, if he doesn't know how can fund a decontamination room and he described himself as an ostrich with his head in the sand hoping for the best. We started working through my “five steps to financial freedom” which is part of my “financial controller module”. As we were talking Mark was making copious notes and muttering to himself like the white rabbit in Wonderland, “I know all this”, “I know all this”, ”I know all this”. Mark became increasingly frustrated with himself because he recognised that he knew what he should be doing and wasn't doing any of it, he had a large financial knowing doing gap. Consequently he was running his practice the position of being financially blindfolded. Fortunately for Mark we were able to break down what needed to be done into small manageable chunks so that Mark can now implement what he knows needs to be done. He told me, “You made it so simple, now I can do it you helped me bridge the knowing doing gap.”

Where are the knowing doing gaps in your practice?

Knowing doing gaps fall in to any of 10 areas of practice; vision, time management, team, customer service, marketing, sales, systems, leadership, environment, clinical skills, self-care.

Common examples of knowing doing gaps in dental practices include;

·        Knowing you should have regular and frequent staff meetings and not having them.

·        Knowing you should have three monthly staff appraisals and not doing them.

·        Knowing you should have staff contracts and not having them.

·        Knowing that you should have a skilled trained practice manager and not having one.

·        Knowing you should have monthly financial review meetings and not having them.

·        Knowing you should have a system for everything and not having them.

·        Knowing you should have a practice manual and not having one.

·        Knowing you should have flexible opening hours and not having them.

·        Knowing you should have a website and not having one

·        knowing you should look after yourself and not doing it.

·        Knowing you should seek professional advice and not doing it.

Write down your top three knowing doing gaps




What are the consequences of you not bridging knowing doing gap?

Knowing doing gaps result in, frustration, stress, anger, increased costs, resentment, despondency and many other negative feelings

Common signs and symptoms of a knowing doing gap in practice

·        Dysfunctional, disjointed or even resentful team when mistakes happen frequently because of lack of communication.

·        High levels of staff sickness, absence or high turnover of staff.

·        Too much to do, not enough time to do it, high levels of stress.

·        Very tight financial situation, unable to pay bills on time, increasing levels of debt.

·        Inconsistency on how tasks up for high levels of mistakes, patient complaints

·        Staff disputes and costly employment tribunal's

·        Practice deteriorating in relation to practices around you

·        Low morale, poor physical and psychological health.


Write down the consequences of you not bridging your knowing doing gaps





Not bridging the knowing doing gap will destroy your practice.

It is a joke among many dental nurses that you the dentist will invest valuable time and money on a course, by some new kit and materials, return to the practice enthusiastic about your new way of doing things and within three days you have returned to the status quo of how things have always been done. When this happens you are wasting time and money.

How do you fill the knowing doing gap?

Accountability is the only way to bridge this gap.


Who can hold you accountable?

·        Self?

“I will just make sure I do it.”

Really?             Is this a strategy that really works for you? If you really can hold yourself accountable why haven't you bridged your knowing doing gap before? Experience shows holding yourself accountable is doomed to failure.


·        Friends, family and colleagues.                                                                                 

You can ask those around you to hold you accountable, and how will you really feel when your partner, nurse or best friend repeatedly asks you constantly “Have you done…?”“Have you done…?”,  “Have you done…?” If you are like most people, they find this intensely irritating, unacceptable and feel like they are being nagged and not supported. This this is a recipe for disaster and difficult relationships.

·        A coach.

Have you ever noticed that when an athlete wins a medal championship or has a significant achievement the first person they always thank is that coach? Why do you think this is? Their coach has helped them accountable for doing all the training and preparation that they needed to do to be a success and win. Because of their coach holding them accountable they are training twice or three times a day come rain or shine summer or winter. The athlete’s coach bridges the knowing doing gap. So to in business and dental practice with me as your coach I will enable you to bridge the knowing doing gap so you can successfully implement what you know to get the results you want, and where you don't yet know need to do I will help you find the answers.


When are you going start to bridge your knowing doing gaps?


If you have any thoughts about this subject please comment below.

To find out more about how I work with dentists and their team making their good practice great call me on (07989) 757884 or e-mail

I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Are you a dinosaur?

Are you a dinosaur?

I was out with a friend last night who specialises in working with medical practices and we were discussing the dramatic changes that come into place 1st April and their potential to change the face of medical practice. We went on to discuss, how in many ways dentists and their medical counterparts are so similar;

·        Trained in clinical skills not business

·        Spend most their time in the surgery with patients

·        Spend very little time working ‘on’ their business

·        Very little awareness of the market place and their position in it.

·        Fearful of life outside the NHS

Shelia and I we also considering opticians and how they are a really good predictor for the future of both medical and dental practices.  If we had taken a walk together 25 years ago down your local high street, I am sure that we would have seen 5, 10 or even 15 local independent opticians, if we were to take that same stroll today we would see 2 or three of the large corporates, vision express, spec savers, possibly D&A and if we searched very hard down a small dark alley way we may be lucky and find a sole independent optical practice remaining.

In dentistry we can already see the rise of the corporates and the group practices and the loss of independent practices from the high street. I predict the same will come to pass for the GMP’s.

Are you going to survive the next few years or will your practice become extinct?


Are you a dinosaur?

The dinosaurs became extinct and many dental practices will do too, will yours?

How to know if you are a dinosaur

·        Low IQ What is your business IQ like? Have you spent anywhere near as long developing your business skills as you have your clinical ones?

·        Cannot hear advice How frequently do you listen to your patients to discover what their wants and need are so that you can provide them for them. Do you seek the advice and counsel of business leaders, experts’ trainers and coaches, or do you metaphorically have your fingers in your ears and chant “la la la la” ignoring what is happening around you?

·        Lack vision Do you have a plan for the future of your practice, is it in line with current and future opportunities and threats. Is your practice based on a solid foundation of values? Or do you spend all your time, on the dental treadmill, with your head down treating the patients as they come through the door and no consideration for the future>

·        Destructive and competitive is your response to a challenge to blame others, criticise your staff, patients or other practices? Do you find fault with others rather than accepting responsibility yourself?

·        Can’t regulate internal temperature. Are you over reliant on others, the NHS, your bank, your staff. How well could you cope if you lost your practice manager, key nurse or receptionist? What would happen to you if your NHS contract was withdrawn or the bank recalled your overdraft? How good are your internal communication systems set up to prevent and minimise staff conflict?

·        Cold bloodied Do you lack compassion for your patients your staff or yourself? Do you have a draconian policy for patient attendance and then frequently run late or cancel appointments at short notice? Do you design and implement your systems and protocols in an inflexible dictatorial style without the involvement of who implement them? Are your staff meetings really negative and a list of what your staff are not doing right and instructions to how to do things properly?

·        Slow moving is your mind set and practice stuck in the past? Are you still offering treatment in the style you were taught at dental school, are your opening hours 9-5 and closed at lunchtime, are you invisible because you don’t have an attractive functional website or social media presence? Is change slow and hard work in your practice?

·        Powerful strong and ungainly are you a strong opinionated principal who seldom seeks counsel from patients, staff or experts and consequently waste a lot of time money and energy. Do you find it difficult to train motivate and train staff and find you have an unskilled team that changes frequently. Have you approached a conversion or fee increase like a bull in a china shop for it to come crashing down around you?

·        Incapable of managing situations Do you avoid or ignore potential sources of conflict only to discover that they become more difficult to resolve that if you had dealt with them early. Do you find personalities and ‘difficult’ people hard to work alongside? Are your days turned upside down by a crisis, mistake or problem rather than being able to overcome or solve it rapidly? Do you bear grudges and find forgiveness difficult?

·        Needs to consume a lot of resources is your practice wasteful and over consume resources? Do you have too many staff, or staff that are underutilized ?do you have equipment and materials in cupboards that are seldom if ever used, have you been on courses particularly in business management and not implemented any changes?

·        Designed to perform one task is your only skill dentistry and have you kept your mind closed to all the other tasks that are required of you as a business owner, setting the vision, managing the finances, allocating the time, building a team, marketing the practice, selling your services, designing and implementing the systems, being a leader, looking after yourself. Is your practice limited in the products and services that you can offer to your patients?

You know what happened to the dinosaurs are you going to let the same happen to you?

 Please leave your comments below.
If you have identified with any of the characteristics that will cause your practice to become extinct and you want survive call me on 07989 757 884 or e mail to discuss how we can help.

Thank you to Ayd instone for the image

Monday, 11 March 2013

What a 5 mile race teaches you about successful business

Yesterday I ran my first 5 mile race, round the beautiful undulating landscape of Blenheim Palace. This was of particular significance to me as last year I injured myself and have only come back to running in the last two weeks. 5 miles is the furthest I have ever run, and I was elated that I managed to run every step of the course. As I was going round, it struck me how much running this race was like running a successful business or dental practice.


I would like to share my musings and learnings with you so that you can implement them into your practice if you choose to.

·        Chunk size when my personal trainer and coach Barry Grinham, suggested I entered the OX5, I was completely overwhelmed because until yesterday the furthest I had run this year was to the end of the village 1 1/2 miles away. I knew that if I focused on the run being 5 miles I would never achieve it because it was too big, so I broke the rundown to 1 mile run, which I knew I could do, five times, now the distance became achievable. In your practice that might be a project such as updating your practice manual, recruiting and training a treatment coordinator, zoning your appointment book, which would you think of it as a whole seems to large and unachievable and consequently you don't start it or maybe you start it and don't complete it. How can you break this large project down into small manageable chunks? How can you do 1 mile five times instead of one 5 miles?


·        Steady pace I run to the pace of a metronome 180 steps per minute, I ran this pace uphill, downhill and on the flat except for the final sprint to the finish. Towards the end of the race one of the other runners commented to me that I had a sudden burst of speed because I had caught him up and subsequently overtook him, the truth of it was I was running at a steady consistent pace and he had slowed down. This reminded me of the comparison between Amundsen and Scott and their different approaches to conquer the South Pole. They each had a very different approach and one of the key features of Amundsen's successful journey was his 20 mile march philosophy. Amundsen and his team trekked 20 miles each day irrespective of the weather conditions, in good conditions and terrible Amundsen and his team always covered 20 miles. Conversely, the unsuccessful Scott had an erratic pace dependent on the conditions on the day, in poor conditions Scott stayed in camp good days he made up for lost time. Many individuals and business owners are looking for a quick fix solution, how to get rich overnight, how to lose a stone in seven days, how to build a successful practice in the one-day seminar. Fast quick fixes don't work, steady and consistent improvement, as I discovered yesterday, will get you to the finish line.


·        Focus on your destination I am not going to pretend but I found yesterday's race easy all the way round, there were hills to go up and then to come back down, the was mud and in some places the route was very crowded. As I was ascending one particularly steep hill that I was finding hard work, I noticed that my attention was focused on my feet so I chose instead to look up and focus on my destination, the top of the hill. All of a sudden when I was looking up, out at my destination I noticed how much easier each step became. As I did this it struck me how to this also is in business, times can be challenging there to be a shortage of patients, dip in income or many other circumstances or personal situations that make running a business hard work. How much harder do you make it by focusing on where you are now and the challenges you have compared to how much easier it can be to overcome the current challenges when you focus on your destination and your goals. Have you got a vision for your practice and for yourself personally that you can focus on at times of challenge?



·        A coach. When I completed the race I rang Barry elated with my achievement and I commented to him that I never believed I could run 5 miles without stopping and that as I was going round, I could hear his motivation voice encouraging me and that meant that I could finish running every single step. Barry replied, “I would have never have suggested it to you unless I knew you could do it and I knew that you could.” That reminded me to some the benefits of having a coach in business, seeing your potential that you can't see, believing in you when you doubt yourself, holding you accountable to reach your goals, giving you motivation and encouragement when you need it most and being there to celebrate your success. Is it any wonder that the first person of world-class athlete thanks when they achieve success is that coach? What areas of your life and business will blossom when you recruit a coach?

I would love your thoughts on my thoughts, please comment below.